2016 in numbers

Highest temperature: 120 °C

At least that is what the (possibly broken) thermometer in the wood-fired sauna near Tallinn read when I was taken there and beaten with a viht by PhD students Annika and Agata. After a quick plunge into a hole in the ice-covered Viitna Pikkjärv and a discussion of the lake’s palaeoecological record, I repaid the vihtlema, concentrating on the soles of their feet.

vihtlema-2

The viht and the steam

Longest hiatus between submission and publication: 8 years

The diatom stratigraphy of Gårdsfjärden is now published.

New R packages learnt: three and a half

I started the year having used ggplot2only once, under duress. I now use it for almost all my figures. I have never used dplyr or tidyr and thought the pipe syntax (%;gt;%) looked rather odd. I’m now a convert, finding that dplyr makes it easy to write understandable code. I also learnt to use plyr a bit. I find it very useful for some jobs, but wish I wouldn’t get such unfathomable bugs when I accidentally load dplyr and plyr at the same time.

Coldest temperature: -13 °C

It seemed like a good idea to go skiing before breakfast at the Palaeo-Resilience workshop at Finse. Beautiful but cold before the sun came up. I should have worn a third pair of gloves.

You can get your chance to think about ecosystem resilience while watching the northern lights as you cool down from a sauna this March at the workshop “Measuring Components of Resilience in Long-term Ecological Datasets“. Alas, no viht.

P1040874

Dawn at Finse

Most giraffes:  ~15

In 2015, 15 Rothschild’s giraffes were translocated to Lake Mburo from other Ugandan National Parks in the hope that this red-listed species would re-establish and help to control the acacia  that is converting the savannah into woodland.

I went to Uganda for Perpetra Akite’s, who was my PhD student, PhD defence. Managed to get away from Kampala for a couple of days to Lake Mburo National Park where I saw most, perhaps all of the herd. And lots of zebra.

img_20161029_100025809_burst001

Steffi & co

Number of blog posts on solar variability: 0

I found a few papers reporting links between palaeoecological data and solar variability that I wanted to discuss, but never found the time. I’ll try to cover more this year as I expect to write fewer posts about Polish lakes.

Number of email from researchgate.com: 431

At least that is how many are in my email trash folder. It seems like many more than that.

Most bison: 0

There are a lot of trees in Białowieża Forest, and it only takes one to hide a bison. Fortunately, I’m going back at the end of January to work on a 52-year phenological data-set (understorey plants, not bison), and the bison should be more visible when they come out of the forest to graze.

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About richard telford

Ecologist with interests in quantitative methods and palaeoenvironments
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